Kolhapur (KOP): The Kolhapur Chamber of Commerce and Industries has demanded the railway officials to have multiple stoppages for the goods carrier train. In response, the railway officials have asked the traders to prepare a proposal before April 24 in this regard.
At present, the goods carrier train starts from Kolhapur and concludes its journey at either Ahmedabad or Mumbai without any stoppages. In this backdrop, the traders and industrialists from the region want the train to stop at multiple locations to load and unload the goods.
Long-time economic slowdown has made it difficult for the traders and industrialists to procure an order and load the entire goods train.
“When we don’t have enough demand, we cannot send the goods through train. In such a situation, we resort to road transport. Though railway transport is cheaper, we cannot afford it till the entire train is loaded with goods. Most of the sugar traders are preferring road transport since they could supply their commodities on time. Otherwise, they will have to wait till the train is fully loaded,” said Anand Mane, president of the Chamber.
Mane said it’s possible to load the train by taking an additional halt at Karad or other suitable location in the region. “By doing so, sugar traders from the respective areas could turn to the railways. At the same time, we also want additional stoppages towards the final destination. For instance, a goods train to Ahmedabad can have a stoppage at Vadodara so that we could procure orders from the local traders,” he said.
S K Tiwari, Sr.DOM of Pune Division who was in the city recently, assured the traders that he will solve the issue on priority basis.
“We have been told to produce a report of our demand in the next four days. On April 24, the railway authorities are conducting a meeting to fulfill the demand on priority basis. Tiwari may present our report at the meeting,” Mane said.
Tiwari also asked the members to prepare a list of their other demands and send it to him within two weeks. Their other demands include changing Sahyadri express’s departure timing by an hour. At present, the train departs from Kolhapur at 10.50 pm and reaches Mumbai at 11.50 am next day. The members want the train to depart at 9.50 pm and ensure its arrival in Mumbai before 9.30 am. They said the railways could skip some of the stoppages and save travel time.
Also, it was reported by the traders that many long distant important trains are being parked on 3rd Platform whereas the Parcel Office is located near the main entrance. They complained that for loading any parcels, the traders have to deal with the Parcel Office minimum 12 hours in advance. However, due to this parking of trains bound towards long distances, it has become very difficult to get the labour, leave alone the difficulty in handling with them. Traders requested the railway officials to shift the departures of long distance trains to first platform so that railways can witness increased revenues in parcels.